Sapphire Laguna Restaurant & Panty in Laguna Beach, California, recently held a local fall harvest dinner party. The meal, prepared by Chef Azmin Ghahreman (right) and his team, celebrated local sustainable farming, with Chef Azmin letting guests know how each of the ingredients in the dinner was grown or raised and how it got to their table at Sapphire.
One of the dishes at the event was a Pistachio Date Pudding, for which Chef Azmin was kind enough to provide a recipe. For more information on Sapphire Laguna and other upcoming events, call (949) 715-9888 or visit www.sapphirelaguna.com
PISTACHIO DATE PUDDING
By Chef/Owner Azmin Ghahreman
Sapphire Laguna Restaurant & Pantry
8 cups (about a 1-pound loaf) egg bread or brioche with crust, cut into 1 ½-inch cubes
Unsalted butter for greasing
2 ¼ cups Medjool dates, pitted and chopped
½ cup pistachios, shelled and coarsely chopped
6 large eggs
3 egg yolks
1 cup granulated sugar
4 cups heavy cream
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground allspice
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Vanilla ice cream
(click “read more” for method)
Arrange bread cubes in single layer on rimmed baking sheet. Let stand at room temperature to dry overnight.
Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Transfer bread cubes to prepared baking dish. Combine the dates and pistachios in a bowl, and then sprinkle date mixture over the bread cubes, making sure it is evenly distributed. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and egg yolks at medium-high speed until frothy. Add the sugar and continue to beat until mixture thickens and turns pale yellow, about 5 minutes. Add the heavy cream, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice and nutmeg; beat just until blended. (Bread mixture and custard can be prepared 1 hour in advance. Let bread mixture stand uncovered at room temperature, and keep the custard chilled and then re-whisk before continuing.)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Pour custard over bread mixture, then press lightly on bread with rubber spatula to submerge. Let stand 15 minutes, occasionally pressing lightly on bread to re-submerge the bread mixture.
Place the baking dish on a baking sheet and bake the bread pudding for 20 minutes. Using large spoon, carefully press bread down, allowing custard in dish to rise to surface. Spoon custard to evenly coat the bread mixture. Continue to bake until knife inserted into center of custard comes out clean, about 15 minutes.
Remove bread pudding from oven and let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve warm with vanilla ice cream.